Edora’s head rolled on the ground with a plop. Yeon-woo remained calm even though the situation would make anyone else freak out. Edora’s head stopped next to some pebbles but her body continued to stand without spurting out a single drop of blood.
Suddenly, her eyes came to life and she smiled. “Oraboni, that’s not fair. Why would you strike a weak girl like me with your sword. I didn’t know you were like this. I’m so disappointed.” Her head and body scattered into the fog, and a new person appeared in its place with a black mask, black clothing, and the Magic Bayonet. He was like Yeon-woo’s reflection but with a more vicious aura.
“So you’ve heard of me? Most people haven’t.” The doppelganger giggled. As it did, Yeon-woo’s eyes darkened.
A doppelganger is a monster that copies the appearances of others. Because it doesn’t have its own identity, it mimics others in the hopes of becoming complete by killing the originals. However, it also has the desire to become stronger, so it doesn’t stay as one being for too long.
Vieira said that this aspect of the doppelgangers meant that she could make fun experiments.
Vieira Dune did all kinds of experiments on doppelgangers, but she mainly tested them on their capacity to learn. Doppelgangers usually lost all data when they switched over to a new personality so that they wouldn’t get confused with a new identity.
However, Vieira Dune stored this data to see if the doppelganger would be able to continue growing while absorbing the abilities of others. The creature facing Yeon-woo seemed to be one of these guinea pigs.
‘It’s a test subject.’ Even though it had switched from imitating Edora to imitating him, its aura still exuded the sensation of multiple souls. Yeon-woo glanced around at the corpses around him. Their faces were all filled with shock and confusion. They had been overwhelmed from Ghost World Formation, and things had taken a turn for the worse after they encountered the doppelganger.
‘How many of them are there?’ There were probably plenty of Vieira Dune’s test subjects around Brocken Castle. They would make it really difficult to enter, and a lot of clans would fall victim to them. He couldn’t help being amused. He’d expected Vieira Dune to come up with all kinds of things to protect the castle, but nothing like this. He had definitely made the right decision in getting all the clans to move against the witches.
“What are you thinking about?! How can you be distracted in front of me?” The doppelganger frowned, its pride hurt. It spread its Fire Wings and started to spew out heat. Although it had only been a short time, the doppelganger had managed to successfully mimic Yeon-woo already. Bang! The doppelganger kicked up into the sky, flying towards Yeon-woo.
However, Yeon-woo only smirked. “Shanon.” His shadow stretched out, and Shanon appeared with Sword Breaker. Clang! The doppelganger’s sword bounced off Shanon’s Sword Breaker powerlessly. Still wrapped in darkness, Sword Breaker didn’t even move an inch. The doppelganger’s eyes widened in disbelief.
「What do you want me to do?」
“Capture him. There’s a lot to find out.”
「Sure, hehehe!」 Shanon laughed, swinging Sword Breaker. With a clang, the doppelganger’s sword bounced out of its hands and Shanon rapidly closed the distance between them, stretching his left hand out to grab its collar and pinning it to the ground.
The ground sank beneath them, and the doppelganger struggled to escape, but Sword Breaker skewered through its chest and pinned it to the ground. “H-how?”
「Is that all you’ve got?」 Even if a doppelganger had the ability to imitate, it had limits, and the only reason it prevailed over the other players was Ghost World Formation.
However, since Yeon-woo wasn’t affected by it at all, the doppelganger couldn’t even fully copy his powers. Furthermore, Shannon was a Death Noble who was stronger than most monsters. He was on a different level altogether from the doppelganger.
「I hope you last, buddy.」 Shanon laughed darkly, splitting the doppelganger in half.
“Aack!” The doppelganger shouted in pain, but Shanon just laughed maniacally and slashed it again. The doppelganger repeatedly healed itself only for Shanon to rip it apart again. Meanwhile, Yeon-woo gave orders to Boo to set up a barrier so the witches couldn’t observe them.
「Hahaha!」 Shanon’s crazy laughter grew louder, and his demonic energy slowly crept into the skin of the doppelganger, amplifying its pain. Usually, being able to heal quickly was a blessing to monsters, but it was nothing more than a curse right now.
‘I think his personality has changed a bit.’ Yeon-woo was deep in thought as he watched Shanon. Even though Shanon seemed flippant, he actually had a serious side to him. He had never seen Shanon like this before. Had he changed after becoming a Death Noble? If the change was for the worse, he would have to interfere, but he couldn’t be sure yet, so he decided to wait and observe further.
“Please!” The doppelganger eventually surrendered.
「Tsk, what the hell? It was just starting to get fun. Can’t you handle a little more? Hahaha.」
To the doppelganger, Shanon was crueler than his master. It looked at Yeon-woo with pleading eyes. Yeon-woo uncrossed his arms and slowly approached it.
* * *
Yeon-woo managed to get a lot of information from the doppelganger. It had been placed under the Seal of Restraints to prevent it from betraying the witches, but Boo took care of that easily. When the last of the seal was released, the doppelganger confessed everything so it would be granted a quick death.
It had a lot of knowledge about Walpurgisnacht, from how they created the canyons and what the weaknesses of Ghost World Formation were to methods of escaping the fog and finding your way through the labyrinth. Although it was only a test subject, it had seen many things during the period it had been living at Brocken Castle.
However, it couldn’t give Yeon-woo any details.
“So you don’t know how to break Ghost World Formation?”
“I-I don’t know anything about that. Pataya is in charge of the territory…please…!” It was so ruined that it looked like a broken doll. The only thing it could do was open its mouth, and now it begged to be killed.
“Wait.” Yeon-woo cut it off.
“You said Pataya? Is she here?”
“Y-yes!” Hoping for a painless death, the doppelganger shouted quickly before Yeon-woo changed his mind. “Th-there are so many intruders, and Pataya is in charge of getting rid of as many as she can using Ghost World Formation. She said it was an e-emergency.”
“Is she watching us right now?”
“She’s probably b-busy focusing on the Elohim right now!”
“Is that so?” Yeon-woo stroked his chin. Pataya was one of the first witches who created Walpurgisnacht, like D’arc and Margaret,.
Her ability was clairvoyance. She usually watched through her crystal and supported those on the front lines. Yeon-woo had confirmed that Ione and the rest of the Elohim had entered Ghost World Formation, which meant that Pataya would have her hands full dealing with them. It was the perfect time to attack her from behind.
“Where is she?”
Thankfully, the doppelganger was linked with Pataya, and it knew her general location. When the doppelganger had no more information to share, Yeon-woo turned to speak to Shanon. “Let’s hand it over to Sesha. Tie it up and put it inside Intrenian.”
Sesha had grown interested in alchemy recently, and she would appreciate a present like this.
「Hehehe, I’ll even decorate it with a ribbon.」
“W-wait! You said you would kill me if…!” The doppelganger shouted with a pale face.
However, Yeon-woo just smirked. “When did I say that?”
“Shit! You son of a bitch! You’ll be damned after you die…!”
“I already know I won’t go to heaven after I die, so you don’t have to worry about that.”
“Aack! S-stay away!” The doppelganger squirmed in Shanon’s hands, but it couldn’t do anything. As its screams rang out, Yeon-woo summoned Hanryeong and Rebecca.
“You guys heard, right? Rescue the others based on the information we got.”
「Are you going by yourself?」 Rebecca asked with a concerned face. The first witches were so powerful that even most rankers didn’t dare challenge them. Yeon-woo just grinned and shook his head. “She’s only skilled in magic; she’s nothing when it comes to fighting. Also—” His eyes flashed icily. “I’m not weak anymore.”
* * *
“Shit!” Pataya pulled her hair out as she looked into the crystal. Her sisters had always been jealous of her silky hair, but it was a bird’s nest right now. The crystal ball was showing her that the canyons were a mess at the moment. Although Ghost World Formation and the doppelgangers were taking care of most of the players, not everyone was affected. All the most worrisome ones—Red Dragon, the Elohim, the Devil Army, the Sea of Time, and several high rankers—were unscathed. She knew that they were after the Emerald Tablet and Red Dragon.
When the quests had suddenly appeared and Red Dragon released the coordinates to the Endless World of Night, players had begun pouring in. Since she was the person in charge, it drove her crazy. The cores that supported Ghost World Formation were being destroyed, and all the test subjects and chimeras protecting the castle were being massacred. Both the young witches and first witches were dying, and it seemed like it would be a matter of time before the players would break through the castle walls.
She was blocking them, but she couldn’t handle a ten-person job on her own. She needed another method. ‘Margaret is headed for Red Dragon and D’arc said she would deal with the Sea of Time…’ She thought over their plans. ‘The problem is the Elohim.’
For some reason, the Elohim was targeting them more ruthlessly than even Red Dragon, and it was urgent that they were dealt with. As Pataya clenched her teeth, she suddenly felt a strange foreboding. She looked behind her in surprise and saw two will-o’-wisps staring back at her, making shivers run down her spine. Her face paled and a dagger flew at her. Puck!
“Ugh!” She fell to the ground, her chest burning with pain. The table fell over, and the crystal ball cracked as it hit the floor. Yeon-woo smiled at her coldly as he stood over her, his eyes burning.
“How…?” She had sealed the area off with magic, and she couldn’t believe that someone had broken through. She should have at least noticed his presence sooner.
[Extrasensory Perception – Synchronization]
Yeon-woo had used two skills to hide his presence. With Boo’s black magic added to them, only a high ranker with hypersensitive senses would be able to sense him. “I have a lot of questions, but you probably won’t answer them, right?”
“Just kill me!”
Yeon-woo slashed Pataya’s throat with the Magic Bayonet. Pataya’s eyes widened because she hadn’t expected that he would end her life so quickly. Yeon-woo absorbed her corpse and soul with Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, and most of her vestige also came over. Yeon-woo finally discovered the general situation of Walpurgisnacht and information about the Brocken Castle and Ananta. He frowned. ‘They’ve locked Ananta in the castle dungeon.’
That was why she hadn’t been able to contact Brahm, but at least she was still alive, even though she was in a critical condition. They had to find her quickly. ‘Boo, if you learn anything else, let me know right away.’
「Yes…sir.」 Now that Boo had regained most of his abilities as a witch doctor and he had extraordinary control over souls, there was no need for torture anymore.
Yeon-woo moved onto his next prey as stealthily as possible, ready to find Vieira Dune and Ananta. Whoosh!Previous Chapter Next Chapter